Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas around the house...

It only took me a week to get the house ready for Christmas this year! Granted I'm forty weeks pregnant, and granted part of "getting the house ready" included painting the fireplace black (more on that later)……but it feels extra cozy in our house these days and I'm looking forward to snuggling with my newborn in it. When it comes to Christmas decorations, I tend to go the simple and classic route. Growing up, one of my favorite parts of getting ready for Christmas was getting out all the old ornaments and decorations that had years of memories attached to them. I think if I went a more modern route with Christmas decor, it would only last a few years before I grew sick of it. So here is what Christmas in our house looks like this year, and I will be taking a break until after the holidays to spend quality time with my soon-to-be family of four. Merry Christmas! 
Another shot of this DIY advent calendar (and free printable) I made last year…..
Here you can get a peek at our newly painted black fireplace and the pinecone garland I made this year (from pinecones I half-dipped in gold paint a couple years ago).
Not pictured, but another favorite Christmas DIY from a couple years ago are these sleigh bells. Merry Christmas, see you in the New Year!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Gift Guide for her: What she would not buy for herself

When it comes to gifting for friends and family, I usually try to buy something that they would never buy for themselves. I love the chance to spend the time thinking about each individual on my list and how to show my love and appreciation for them. While most of us girls can justify buying an occasional new top for ourselves, here are some ideas I think most of us are more likely to admire from afar: 

1. Eberjey pjs (C bought me a short sleeved/shorts pair of these after R was born and they are perfectly soft)
2. Salt & Pepper grinder
3. Necklace
4. Wood and marble cheese plate
5. Pretty Rifle Paper books
6. a watch that you can dress up or down
7. Subscription to Anthology magazine
8. Brass organizer (I like the idea of using it for makeup brushes)
9. Vase
10. Linen throw
11. cozy socks

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gift Guide for the Littles

I've gone back and forth with doing a gift guide this year. I've been particularly annoyed with the amount of emails (thirty-five one morning!) I've been getting this year from stores vying for my attention. On one hand, I try to steer clear of focusing too much on all the shopping hype….and there's so many great gift guides floating around already, and yet on the other I love putting thought into gifts for the ones I love.  We tend to be pretty minimal in our house…so when we do buy a gift for R (Christmas and birthday), I put a lot of thought into it. Here are some ideas that are either already big hits in our home, or ones that I'm very certain she would love:

1. I fell in love with this Ostrich and bought it for the baby, R has already started claiming it as her own 
2. This tea set from Ikea is a huge hit over here….it's porcelain so I keep it up and bring it out as a special treat. R loves sitting at the table and pouring water into her little tea cups….one of our favorite things to do together.
3. I've been a huge fan of Finkelstein stuffed animals for quite some time now….
4. How darling is this banjo?
5. R loves to accessorize and play with hair, littlecraneheadbands makes the prettiest bows
6. We got these pots for her birthday this past June and I love how real they look
7. Grandma bought her tegu blocks last year, and they are on constant rotation
8. I love how this chair can also act as a dollhouse….just adorable
9. Two of R's favorite books (here and here) and she will be getting this one for Christmas
10. This safari puzzle was another birthday gift that is in constant rotation over here….R loves using it as a puzzle and just playing with the animal pieces.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent Calendar and some Friday links (on a Saturday)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was a quiet yet good one. I had visions of creating this beautiful spread for my family, but a lot of the day involved me sitting with a heating pad, giving Red instructions from the kitchen table. And you know what? It was fine! The turkey ended up being the most delicious turkey we've ever had (we are going to brine our turkey every year I'm hosting from now on), and I was able to just sit back and enjoy the day with my family despite it not looking just so. I was reminded of the Thanksgiving when Red was in Iraq and I just wanted to get through the day in one piece because I missed him so much. Not to mention- we have a little girl with a baby on the way…..and life is so, so good.
As December first approaches, I thought I would share the DIY advent calendar (and free printable) I made last year. I had nearly decided that with the new baby (coming any day!) we would leave this tradition and pick it up again next year, but then I saw this idea for a movie advent and loved it. A movie advent? Now that's something I can do, newborn and all.

and here are some favorite links:

How to make your own latte art
Pretty Christmas inspiration
12 amazing inexpensive wines (for under $12)
Ikea's new "greatest hits" collection
Along with drooling over the IG pics of her new home, I'm loving how Kate Arends is decorating for the holidays…
Calvin Klein's home
This photo shoot makes me excited for winter
Love this nursery
Dream coat

Monday, November 24, 2014

Healthy Living Post: Butternut Squash and Pear Soup with Rosemary croutons

It seems I'm sharing this recipe on the tail end of butternut squash season, but better late than never! Last Fall I stumbled upon this recipe via Jacquelyn at Lark & Linen, and it's quickly become a favorite in our home. I love this recipe for a couple reasons- not only is it healthy, but my family loves it (picky two year old included!). In my mind, there's nothing cozier than a bowl of soup as the temperatures lower. Enjoy.
Ps. I should add that cooking has not exactly been my forte this pregnancy, so anything with homemade croutons (no matter how simple) feels like a huge triumph!

-3 Tblsp. oil
-2 medium onions, diced
-1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 in. pieces)
-4 pears (peeled and chopped into 1 in. pieces)
-chicken stock (enough to cover)
-1 sprig of rosemary
-2 Tblsp. heavy cream (optional)
-sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-optional: pad of brie and sriracha

-1 slice bread
-1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
-olive oil
-sea salt

*In large pot, heat olive oil & add onions. Cook 4-5 min. until translucent. Add squash and pears, cooking 4-5 min until they soften. Pour in chicken stock (enough so submerged). Add sprig of rosemary and bring to simmer. Cook until squash tender (18-20 min). Remove rosemary and puree with immersion blender. Add cream and season. Serve with croutons (and optional pad of brie & sriracha).

*Croutons- Preheat oven to 400. Slice bread into 1/2 inch strips. Drizzle with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt. Bake 10 min or until toasty.

Friday, November 21, 2014

For the last minute Thanksgiving table- Frosted Wheat

I have had a serious lack of inspiration the past couple months when it comes to Fall decor, and had nearly moved on to Christmas, until I made a stop at Anthropologie the other day. Not the first time their gorgeous displays have brought inspiration my way, I spied the prettiest twist on this Fall's wheat trend….frosted wheat. It's also very fitting as we have snow on the ground this year. I immediately made a stop at Hobby Lobby for some wheat, spray glue, and glitter and got to work. It was the most rewarding five minute DIY, and now I have something festive for our Thanksgiving table. I'll probably keep it simple and just be adding some greenery to the mix.
Ps. After spraying the glue and sprinkling glitter, I added epson salts to make the "frost" stand out more.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

This morning I woke up to snow dusting the ground outside my house, and while I'm sad to see Fall leave so abruptly (it always feels that way, right?), I can't help but welcome these cooler temperatures. It's a sweet reminder that we are that much closer to meeting this baby I've been carrying for nine months. I just have a couple minor finishing touches for the nursery, then I can't wait to share that part of our house with you. Here are some things that have been catching my eye this week:   
This pretty kitchen 
This holiday tablescape

and these links:

Entertaining tips from one of my favorite bloggers, Victoria Smith
The trench
These pretty coasters
This french onion soup looks incredible
Give lockers new life (I love the set we have in the office)
Fall staples (check out that coat!)
Homemade apple cider marshmallows? Yes please.
Emily's brass and marble backsplash
Sofas under 1000
This pretty home

Monday, November 10, 2014

Black Fireplaces

Recently I've been entertaining the idea of painting our fireplace black. I'm not sure why I haven't considered it before…if you remember this post a while back, I think I was so fixed on having a white brick fireplace that it never occurred to me to paint it black. I still love a white brick(floor to ceiling please!) fireplace, but unless we are planning on getting hardwood floors (I wish, but the beige carpet will have to do) anytime soon, there simply is not enough contrast or character in our living room. Now, for the nerve wrecking part- painting over brick. I can still hear the disapproval from the guy at Home Depot eight years ago when I told him I was painting our used dining table and chairs black. I never regretted that decision, but for some reason painting over wood or brick still makes me nervous. I don't think the brick in our fireplace is particularly beautiful, so that helps in the decision making process. I could also use another project to keep my mind off of my nearing due date:). Here are my top inspirations for the job….thoughts?  


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Five Things

1. I have been on the search for the perfect camel coat for a couple years now…this one is beautiful
2.  This cookbook looks amazing
3. These pretty boxes from Anthro
 4. I fell in love with this tablescape by Bri of DesignLoveFest. I seriously don't think I've seen a prettier Fall spread.
5. Reese's Halloween costume as the morton salt girl last Friday….it was a magical night for her, she is still talking about how she wore a dress and had an umbrella.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Reese's big girl room reveal

The transition of Reese's room from nursery to toddler/little girl room was bound to take place since I would need the crib for baby girl #2, but I didn't expect to have to start making the change before her second birthday. When Reese started climbing out of her crib last May, we transitioned the crib to a toddler bed knowing it was a temporary fix. Fast forward a couple months, and I was excited to find this bed on craigslist for $20 and quickly transformed it into a look-alike Oeuf bed. Since then, our active girl has used nap time to knock over her bookcase, tear up her books, push the rocking chair upside down, pull the curtain rods out of the wall, and most recently chip the paint off the newly painted bed frame with anything hard she can find. So what you are seeing below, is Reese's room as I would like it to be 24/7, but it is most definitely not. For us, nap time means taking her bookcase out of the room with all the books and any hard objects. While I still can hear her jumping off the bench and bed (and a little voice counting before the big jump) during "nap time", at least I feel that I've done everything to keep her from getting hurt (and everything ruined). I'm hoping the room as it is below is in our near future though:)….

Below you can see the DIY pom-pom garland I made a while back, and more recently my mom turned R's old crib sheet into a pillow for her bed because I loved the fabric so much.
Below you can see the DIY barn wood shelf I made last year….

Ps. Hope you enjoy Halloween tomorrow…this is R's first year of tricker treating, and I'm excited to watch her experience it. If you're running low on costume ideas, here are R's costumes the past couple years.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Life Lately (according to my phone)

Another stop at my favorite market in Indy...
Playing tour guide for one of my dearest friends- Reese loved the extra attention (and extra pair of arms):
Indianapolis in the Fall
A short trip to Chicago with my friend and exploring new sites….such as the stunning Bahai House of Worship
 Lunch at Plein Air Cafe (still dreaming about that vanilla steamed milk)
Finally got to see Harper Memorial Library at University of Chicago, a must see in my book
Connor and I set out to find Indiana's prettiest Fall colors, and I think we found them
Remnants from a fun night with friends (R's painted pumpkin and homemade peppermint marshmallows)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

I had every intention of getting this post up this morning, but here I am on a Friday night with my feet propped up on a pillow,  feeling extra pregnant, and realizing I'm twelve hours late with this post. Such is life, right? I used to be an all or nothing kind of gal….work out for an hour or not work out at all, have a perfect meal for dinner or not cook, or have a perfect room to share or not work on it at all. The older I get though, the more ok I am with the in-between…or with what is simply "my momentary best". I'm sure a lot of that has to do with my newer role as a mother, but I'm grateful for this growth and that it's ok to have a blog and not be a perfect blogger. On that note, I give you my Friday favorites.
This stunning bedroom (that window!) from Domino Mag
This simple (and beautiful) bathroom

and these links:

3 everyday eye liner shapes
Love this DIY towel holder
I sort of want to get this shirt for Reese
Made me chuckle
If you aren't a cat person, this might win you over
These pumpkin carving tips would have been helpful a few days ago
Homemade twix bars
These pretty leaf prints
This monochrome house tour
This bench (price tag aside)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Inspiration

Life has been busy as of late….and the best kind of busy- exploring (both local and non local) with my family and playing hostess for a dear friend. While I love my little creative space on the internet, I love the people in my life more….which brings me to today's post. The idea of transforming our home into a cozy Autumnal space for memories to be made with my family  is such an appealing one, yet decorating for seasons is not my strong suit. Aside from buying pumpkins, I find myself wanting to invest in things that we can use year round rather than just a few months out of the year, and then of course I always seem to hit a roadblock in finding pretty Fall decor that is also my aesthetic. Not this year though…I've decided to start small and am finding loads of inspiration everywhere.  

1. canisters
2. wheat bunch
3. gourd garland
4. blanket
5. napkins
6. dried flower arrangement
7. candle 
8. candle holders
9. pillow
10. faux pumpkin

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Perfectly Imperfect

I recently came across Jen Smith's home via Domino and fell so in love with her dining room. It's perfectly imperfect, if there is such a thing. I'm just as awestruck by gorgeous decked out NYC lofts as the next person,  but the older I get the more I find myself inspired by design that is functional and attainable….relatable to my life. This home is just that, while achieving beautiful and unique design. Be sure to check out the rest of Jen's home. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mackinac Island, MI

Every year for the past five years , we have done a Fall trip with my cousin and her husband. Not only is it a yearly highlight for us, but it's always exciting to choose a new location to explore together. We've done Seattle and the San Juan Islands, Quebec, northern NY, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and then this past year we decided on Mackinac Island, MI. Mackinac Island is unique in that there are no cars allowed on the island, so the main means of transportation on the island is bikes and horse drawn carriages. Mackinac Island is dotted with beautiful Victorian hotels and B&B's. We opted to not stay on the island so that we could explore other parts of Michigan as well.  I'm so glad we did! We rented a house from AirBnB that was right on Lake Huron, and every night we enjoyed a bonfire by the water with the most magnificent night sky.   

It took some convincing on the guys part, but we toured the island on tandem bikes.  The hilarity that ensued was one of our favorite memories from the weekend. Let's just say that it's way more difficult to balance than it looks, and we only seemed to handle it well at high speeds (it doesn't help that I was thirty weeks pregnant).  There was a very close incident involving a horse.
The Grand Hotel! It had the most beautiful grounds.
Aside from the horses, this little one could not stop talking about the water.
We spent a lot of our evenings behind the house by the bonfire. It was a huge highlight, and Reese loved exploring the woods.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hope you are all gearing up for a wonderful weekend! After just getting back from a fun getaway in Michigan, we are looking forward to a low-key weekend at home, and the rainy forecast predicts a cozy one at that. Who knows- we might just be crazy and throw in some potty training to the mix (i.e. wish me luck!). Here are some of my recent favorites and I'll be back Monday to share some of our Michigan pictures...
This cozy bedroom (and the entire home for that matter)

 This cool half gray wall
 This gallery wall (if you know the proper source for this one, please inform me!)

 and these links:

Cutest Halloween costume idea (this one too!)
How to get a perfectly rounded cookie
This shop
White chalkboard paint
This sweater
Thoughts on expectations
The black floor in this apartment
This stunning restaurant
How to paint a tile backsplash
In my dream house